College Basketball Picks: Kansas Jayhawks vs. Iowa State Cyclones

No. 5 Kansas Jayhawks at Iowa State Cyclones
Saturday, 1/28/12, 2:00 PM EST, TV:  ESPN
Opening Point Spread:  Kansas -6
Current Betting Line:  Kansas -6
Opening Total:  141
Current Total:  141.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Kansas Jayhawks lead the Big 12 Conference by two games entering Saturday's game

Kansas has a two-game lead in the Big 12 Conference standings and will close out the month of January inside the Hilton Coliseum in Ames, Iowa.  The Jayhawks are 4-0 in true road games this year and lead all conference teams in allowing opponents to shoot just 37.2 percent from the field.  The program leads this all-time series by a 171-58 margin, winning the last 13 meetings.  Kansas is 4-5 ATS as a road favorite of 3.5 to 6 points the last two-plus seasons.

The Jayhawks are 7-0 in Big 12 play for the third time in the Bill Self era and are led by national player of the year candidate Thomas Robinson, who is the only player in the conference averaging a double-double with 17.8 points and 12.0 rebounds per game.  He’s not doing it all by himself, relying on senior guard Tyshawn Taylor to get things done on the perimeter, scoring 15-plus points in each of the last five games.

Iowa State is tied for fourth in the Big 12 with a 4-3 record and is one of two teams nationally with four players with 30 or more three-point makes.  The Cyclones had their two-game win streak snapped with a 62-55 loss to the Texas Longhorns last time out, while going “under” the total for the third consecutive game.  Three players in the starting lineup are averaging double figures—led by sophomore Royce White’s 13.4 points and 9.6 rebounds per game.  Iowa State is 5-2 ATS versus conference opponents this year.

The Cyclones shot a season-low 33.3 percent from the field against the Longhorns on the road last time out, hitting just 5-of-21 shots from beyond the arc.  Iowa State trailed 28-22 at the break, marking the first time in Big 12 play that the program trailed after 20 minutes of play.  There’s no doubt that fans entering Hilton Coliseum are hungry for a win in this series, dropping seven consecutive home games to Kansas, having not tasted victory since Jan. 31, 2004.  Senior Scott Christopherson has the most experience on the roster in this series, averaging 9.8 points and shooting 50 percent from three-point range in five games versus the Jayhawks.

Bettors will likely back the Cyclones due to their 9-2 ATS mark versus Big 12 rivals, while the Jayhawks are 2-5-1 ATS on the road versus teams with a winning record at home.

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